Who made the camel ?
by Anjum Makki
The camel is an animal that has been in the service of mankind, from times immemorial. The people of the desert affectionately call this animal as "the ship of the desert." Its importance is best understood by those who dwell in the barren wastes of a desert land.
The camel has certain peculiarities which in a way, show that it has been made so thoughtfully so as to adapt itself to the harsh climate and the needs of those who live in the desert. There is a lot that needs to be told about one of the most wonderful creations that has ever been domesticated by man for his use.
The most specific feature of the camel is its body structure, which is not affected even in the most severe circumstances. It can survive without water and food for many days and can travel in the harsh desert climate carrying hundreds of kilograms of luggage on its back.
The feet of the camel are made in such a way that it can travel in all types of land with equal ease as it does in the desert; its feet are made up of two toes connected to each other with a flexible cushion. This structure enables it to firmly grasp the sandy land. Its nails protect the feet against any damage that may occur as a result of accidents. Its knees are covered with a hard structure called as the "callus", which is made up of skin as hard and as thick as a horn.
When the animal lies down on the hot sands, this calloused structure protects the animal from being burnt by the extremely hot sand of the desert. The hump of the camel acts as a food stock, formed by lots of fats, and provides nutrition to the animal periodically, when the food is in short supply. A thirsty camel consumes 130 liters of water, in just ten minutes. With this inbuilt system, this animal can survive without water for three weeks, during which time it may lose as much as 33% of its body weight. A camel delays the perspiration of its body by means of increasing its body temperature up to 41 degrees C, and thus prevents water loss. Under the same severe circumstances, a human being would lose 8% of his weight, but die within thirty-six hours because he would completely lose all the water in his body.
The camel's fur consists of thick and felted hair that not only protects the body of the animal against extreme climatic conditions, but also reduces the water loss.
With its thick fur, the camels in Asia can survive high temperatures reaching up to +50 degrees C in summer and falling down to -50 degrees C in winter.
The eyelashes of the camel are designed like two separate combs that clamp together. Not even a single grain of sand is let into the eye in case of dangers like the desert storms. Its nose and ears are covered with long hair for protection from sand and dust. Its long neck enables the animal to reach and feed on the leaves, which are three meters high above the ground.
In addition to the above features, the camel also has other specialized structures and systems in its body which makes the animal withstand the harsh conditions of the desert.
The camels have very strong, rubber-like lips that make it easier for them to eat thorns sharp enough to pierce leather. Furthermore, its strong digestive system digests everything it comes across like plastic plates or copper wires. The four-chambered stomach of this wonderful animal creates minimum fuss. Contrast this with our fussy food habits and preferences. And also, do we endure as many hardships for as many days as the camel does?
Is it possible for the camel to have adapted its body to the desert conditions on its own? Is it possible for the camel to have any role in shaping up the other peculiarities that are an in-built protection against whirlwinds and desert storms? Is it possible for it to create its own blood and cell structure based on the principle of prevention of loss of water? Is it possible for it to choose for itself the type of hair covering its body to protect itself from both the heat and cold of the desert? Is it possible for it to convert all by itself into a 'desert ship'? Is the creation of a camel an accident of nature or the product of a well laid-out plan?
"Blessed be He in Whose Hands is the Dominion; and He over all things hath Power-- He Who created Death and LIfe, that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted In Might, Oft-Forgiving-- He Who created the seven heavens one above another: no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw?" (Qur'an 67:1-4)
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